When play begins in the 95th Maine Amateur Championship at the Woodlands in Falmouth on Tuesday, the defending champion will be one of the first players off the tee.

Ricky Jones of Rockland and Samoset Resort Club — who won last year’s tournament at the Augusta Country Club — is scheduled to be in the first group on Tuesday, the first day of the three day tournament. A three-time winner of the Maine Amateur, Jones will be joined by Jim Van Fleet of Great Chebeague Golf Course and Will Kannegieser of Martindale Country Club.

The tournament runs Tuesday through Thursday. The Woodlands hosts the Maine Amateur for the first time since 1999.

A number of central Maine golfers are set to compete, including some veterans of the tournament and some up and coming young players. Augusta’s Mark Plummer, winner of the Maine Am a record 13 times, will tee off at 10:50 a.m. Jason Gall, also of Augusta, will be in the opening day’s second group at 7:10 a.m.

Luke Ruffing, who won the state Class B title as a senior at Maranacook last fall, will tee off at 7:40 a.m. Gavin Dugas and Carter Pearl, teammates on a strong Maine Central Institute team, both qualified. Dugas placed fifth in the Class B championship last year and tees off at noon. Pearl is in one of the last groups of the opening day and begins play at 1:50 p.m. Pearl finished in seventh place at the Class B state championship last season, and at 15-years old, is the youngest player in the field.

The Woodlands is 6,848 yards from the back tees. The 568 yard, par 5 third hole is the longest, while the 176 yard par 3 13th is the shortest. The Woodlands’ course description says the 13th “demands a well struck tee shot or double bogey lurks.”

Only four of the 132 players in the field have won the tournament. Plummer and Jones are joined by Ron Brown and Eric Crouse. Every other winner from the past 21 years — with the exception of Seth Sweet, who won in 2012 and now plays collegiate golf for Old Dominion University — has become a professional player.

After play Wednesday, the field will be cut to the top 40 plus ties for the final round. Fifty of Maine’s golf courses are represented by at least one player. Sable Oaks Golf Club has the most in the tournament with 10 players. Falmouth has nine, while Augusta, Martindale and Woodlands each have eight players.

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The Maine Chapter National Football Foundation will hold its annual golf tournament on July 7 at Belgrade Lakes Golf Club. The tournament begins with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. Registration opens at noon.

The cost is $120 for an individual and $100 to sponsor a hole. The proceeds go to benefit the Maine Chapter’s scholarship fund and programs to promote amateur football in Maine.

Checks can be made payable to State of Maine Chapter, NFF, and can be sent to Matt Ryan, P.O. Box 676, Wells, ME 04090. For more information, please contact Ryan at 646-7352 or [email protected]

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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